Hayden Donnell

Hayden Donnell is a contributing writer for The Spinoff.

Politics
Jul 2, 2020

A blame guide for the Auckland light rail cluster-shemozzle uber-bungle

Struggling to find the correct apportionment of blame for the failure of light rail in Auckland? Hayden Donnell is here to help.

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Politics
Jun 25, 2020

Idea: Let's not mess up Auckland to save ratepayers 47 cents a week

Auckland has made painstaking progress toward becoming a functioning modern city. Now its councillors may put that in jeopardy for a proposal that will save ratepayers an average of 47 cents a week.

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Politics
Jun 17, 2020

Solved: The mystery of Todd Muller's upside down tino rangatiratanga flag photo

Todd Muller has been criticised for posing in front of an upside down tino rangatiratanga flag. Hayden Donnell uses investigative journalism to find out who’s responsible.

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Food
Jun 15, 2020

Terrible news: the avocado crime gangs are about to strike again

For four years running, at the exact same time of year, New Zealand has been terrorised by gangs of avocado thieves.

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Politics
May 27, 2020

A frame-by-frame analysis of Tova O’Brien’s hall-of-fame National shambles story

Last night New Zealand witnessed one of the most exhilarating, confronting political stories to air on national television.

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Ātea
May 16, 2020

An interview with Heta Gardiner: A lonely Māori voice at the Covid-19 briefings

Heta Gardiner's questions offer a glimpse of a media world with different incentives, priorities and cultural values.

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Society
May 9, 2020

How an anonymous, untrue tweet about suicide spiralled out of control

Last week, an inaccurate tweet about suicide spread so far that both the Ministry of Health and the Mental Health Foundation had to respond.

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Media
Mar 22, 2020

An alarming number of NZ entrepreneurs are becoming amateur epidemiologists

Why has New Zealand's startup community been so prominent in the Covid-19 discussion this past week?

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Food
Feb 13, 2020

Abominations unto God: Reviewing Nestlé’s new Kiwi onion dip flavours

This summer, Nestlé released two new flavours of Kiwi Onion Dip. Hayden Donnell, our nation’s leading Kiwi onion dip researcher, delivers the company an angry rebuke.

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Media
Dec 23, 2019

Decade in review: The worst takes of the 2010s

The 2010s will go down in media history as the Take Decade. Hayden Donnell combed through every single take made in New Zealand in the last 10 years to compose …

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In My Backyard
Nov 17, 2019

Beyond the Unitary Plan: a short list of solutions to Auckland’s housing crisis

Hayden Donnell looks for inspiration and innovation on how to house the city’s future.

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Politics
Nov 15, 2019

Jacinda Ardern throws weight behind campaign to get Creepy Santa to Te Papa

Auckland’s Giant Santa is being retired and may be lost forever. This morning he was offered a lifeline from the highest office in NZ.

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Local Elections
Oct 15, 2019

10 questions with Auckland’s re-elected mayor Phil Goff

Phil Goff was returned by a huge margin on Saturday. How will he put that mandate to use this term?

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Local Elections
Oct 13, 2019

Winners, losers, big losers, and gigantic losers from the 2019 local elections

Hayden Donnell identifies who did well, and who got massively owned, in the 2019 local elections.

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Local Elections
Oct 11, 2019

All the interesting, funny, weird, and bad things we didn’t cover these local elections

Sorry about not covering everything that happened these local elections. To make it up to you, we’ve compiled all the stories we missed into an ultimate election-ending list.

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Local Elections
Oct 8, 2019

Not great: Auckland’s ‘one stop shops’ have been running out of voting papers

Good: setting up places for people to cast a special vote while they’re waiting for their dumplings. Bad: those places running out of voting papers. Hayden Donnell reports on some trouble with Auckland Council’s one stop shops.

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Local Elections
Oct 7, 2019

The motley crew trying to overthrow the old guard in the Far North

For decades, the Far North has been ruled by a collection of conservatives. Now a gang leader-turned-Man Up organiser, an ex Green Party MP, and the lead singer of Opshop are among those trying to replace them.

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Local Elections
Oct 2, 2019

Auckland’s penny-pinching rates protesters find a new hero

In the last public debate of the Auckland mayoral campaign, the three leading contenders fronted up to a crowd of rates-averse elderly people – and an unlikely hero emerged.

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Local Elections
Oct 2, 2019

The 26-year-old mayoral candidate trying to reshape Hamilton’s local politics

Louise Hutt is running for Hamilton mayor on a progressive platform. She talks to Hayden Donnell about her plans to start a political movement that will reshape local politics in the city lovingly known as the Tron.

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Local Elections
Sep 30, 2019

Penny Hulse signs off

Penny Hulse is retiring after a 27-year council career. She talked to Hayden Donnell about the reasons she stood down, the councillors she can’t stand, the Tamihere vs Goff battle, and her secret to staying sane during even the worst council meetings.

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Local Elections
Sep 26, 2019

Penny Hulse wraps up her council career with a plea to end petty politics

Penny Hulse made a call for collaboration and unity in the final meeting of her 27-year council career today. What are the chances her plea will be granted? Hayden Donnell delivers a grim assessment.

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Local Elections
Sep 26, 2019

No-one wants to stand in our local elections. No seriously, it’s bad

The headlines still haven't conveyed the true extent of the problem.

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Local Elections
Sep 25, 2019

Tubby Hansen’s voting booklet blurbs are precious works of art

Every three years, veteran election candidate Tubby Hansen releases major new literary works in the form of his Christchurch voting booklet blurbs. Often they go unappreciated, but not this time.

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Society
Sep 23, 2019

Get It To Rainbow’s End? Hope on the horizon for the Big Fresh Fruit & Veges

A perfectly preserved set of Big Fresh Animatronic Fruit and Veges went on sale this week. Hayden Donnell delivers an exclusive update on their fate.

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Local Elections
Sep 19, 2019

The two loud, angry campaigns that could swing the Auckland local elections

The power balance of the incoming Auckland Council could be decided by two overheated local debates about a golf course and a carpark. Hayden Donnell reports.

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Local Elections
Sep 18, 2019

Cheat sheet: How to not say Nazi stuff at an Auckland mayoral debate

Last night Auckland mayoral contender John Tamihere said "sieg heil" when answering a question on diversity. Sadly that has forced us to put together a cheat sheet on how not to say Nazi phrases in debates.

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